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Buddhadharma : Winter 2013
Everyone has the seed of suffering inside. Sometimes it slumbers in the depths of our consciousness and sometimes it manifests as a very noticeable energy. When suffering manifests, it’s difficult to feel joy or happiness. The practice of conscious breathing and mindful walking or mindful sitting can help us handle the suffering inside. Our suffering is not only our own suffering. It carries within it the suffering of our father, our mother, and the many ancestors who have transmitted it to us. Our suffering also reflects the suffering of our people, our country, our society, and our world. When we understand the nature and roots of our suffering, then compassion and love can arise. We go home to ourselves and get in touch with the suffering inside. Practicing conscious breath- ing, we generate the energy of mindfulness and concentration. These are the energies with which we can recognize and embrace our suffering. If we don’t have the energy of mindfulness, the suf- fering may overwhelm us. But if we breathe in and out and allow our body to be relaxed, we can generate the energy of mindfulness and con- centration, and with that energy we can embrace our suffering and hold it tenderly. My dear suffering, I know you are there in me. I am here to take care of you. Suffering and HappineSS inter-are There are people who wish to find a place where there is no suffering, like heaven, the Pure Land of the Buddha, or the kingdom of God. We may think that “up there” there is no suffering; there is only happiness. But when we look deeply we see that suffering and happiness inter-are, just as the mud and the lotus interpenetrate each other. A lotus can only grow in mud. If there were no mud, there would be no lotus flower. There’s a very close connection between suffering When we practice mindfulness in our daily lives, says Thich Nhat Hanh, we open to the wonders of life and allow the world to heal and nourish us. (OPPOSITE)WWW.MARSHALLSARAH.COM The Miracle of Everyday Mindfulness WINTER 2 0 1 3 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 47